Foreclosure activity increases in more than half of U.S. metros

IRVINE
November 14, 2012 9:11pm
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•  Up in October from September

•  “We continued to see vastly different foreclosure trends across the country”


Foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 186,455 U.S. properties in October, an increase of 3 percent from September, according to a report Wednesday night from foreclosure information company RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine.

But on a year-over-year basis, the October number was down 19 percent from October 2011.

The report also shows one in every 706 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

"We continued to see vastly different foreclosure trends across the country in October, depending primarily on how each state's foreclosing infrastructure was able to handle the high volume of delinquent loans during the worst of the foreclosure crisis in 2010," says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "Unfortunately the three states dealing with the biggest rebound in deferred foreclosure activity -- New Jersey, New York and Connecticut -- also had to deal with the devastation to homes inflicted by super storm Sandy. The foreclosure moratoriums being put into effect as a result of the storm will likely extend the already-lengthy time to foreclose in these states, further prolonging a fundamentally sound housing recovery."

The three states with the biggest annual increases in foreclosure activity in October were New Jersey (140 percent), New York (123 percent) and Connecticut (41 percent). Other states with sizable increases were Maryland (27 percent), Ohio (24 percent) and Illinois (19 percent).

An analysis of foreclosure activity and inventory in the counties most impacted by super storm Sandy in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York shows foreclosure activity in October was down 8 percent from September but up 92 percent from a year ago, and an estimated $41 billion in foreclosure inventory in those counties.

Florida posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the second month in a row, with one in every 312 housing units with a foreclosure filing in October, followed by Nevada, Illinois, California and Arizona.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions in October increased 9 percent from September, while default notices and bank repossessions (REO) were virtually unchanged from the previous month.

Foreclosure activity increased on a month-over-month basis in more than half of the 212 metro areas tracked in the report, and jumped significantly in some hard-hit metro areas, including Modesto, in the Central Valley (up 68 percent), Sarasota, Fla. (up 53 percent), Las Vegas, Nev. (up 45 percent), Columbus, Ohio (up 61 percent), and Columbia, S.C. (up 58 percent).

As of the end of October, total inventory of properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned in these counties was 124,608, up 15 percent from the previous month and up 54 percent from October 2011. The estimated combined market value of foreclosure inventory in the impacted counties was more than $41 billion.

Fannie Mae owned the biggest percentage of REO inventory of any lender in the impacted counties in all three states, with 29 percent in New York, 25 percent in New Jersey, and 22 percent in Connecticut. Other lenders with large percentages of REO inventory in the impacted counties included Wells Fargo, US BankCorp and Deutsche Bank.

Foreclosure starts -- default notices or scheduled foreclosure auctions, depending on the state -- were filed for the first time on 89,209 U.S. properties in October, a 2 percent increase from September but still down 19 percent from October 2011 -- the third straight month with an annual decrease in foreclosure starts, says RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 26 states, including Nevada (54 percent), Tennessee (52 percent), Minnesota (28 percent), North Carolina (26 percent), New York (17 percent) and Georgia (16 percent).

Foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 15 states, including New Jersey (286 percent), Washington (163 percent), New York (163 percent), Pennsylvania (42 percent), North Carolina (38 percent), and Nevada (20 percent).

Bank repossessions decrease annually for 24th straight month

Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 53,478 U.S. properties in October, down less than 1 percent from the previous month but down 21 percent from October 2011 -- the 24th straight month with an annual decrease in REO activity.

REO activity decreased annually in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Some of the biggest decreases were in Oregon (81 percent), Virginia (72 percent), Washington (56 percent), Nevada (50 percent), Texas (41 percent), Michigan (35 percent), Arizona (33 percent), and California (20 percent).

States with some of the biggest annual increases in REO activity included Connecticut (44 percent), Maryland (38 percent), South Carolina (37 percent), New York (33 percent) and Georgia (22 percent).

Florida registered the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the second month in a row. One in every 312 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing in October -- more than twice the national average. A total of 28,783 Florida properties had a foreclosure filing in October, up 2 percent from the previous month and a 12-month high, but the October 2012 total was still 13 percent below the October 2011 total.

A 41 percent monthly increase in overall foreclosure activity helped push the Nevada foreclosure rate to the second highest in the nation in October, up from the nation's fifth highest foreclosure rate in September. One in every 352 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, twice the national average. Foreclosure starts (NOD) in Nevada increased 54 percent from the previous month and were up 20 percent from a year ago -- the first annual increase in Nevada foreclosure starts after 32 consecutive months of annual decreases. Nevada REOs increased 69 percent from the previous month but were still down 50 percent from a year ago.

One in every 356 Illinois housing units had a foreclosure filing in October, the nation's third highest state foreclosure rate. A total of 14,899 Illinois properties had a foreclosure filing during the month, a 6 percent increase from the previous month and a 19 percent increase from a year ago -- the 10th consecutive month where Illinois documented an annual increase in foreclosure activity.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation's 10 highest were California (one in every 379 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Arizona (one in 420 housing units), Georgia (one in every 439 housing units), Ohio (one in every 476 housing units), Colorado (one in 563 housing units), South Carolina (one in every 601 housing units), and Michigan (one in every 607 housing units).

October foreclosure activity increased from the previous month in 113 of the 212 metropolitan statistical areas tracked in the report (53 percent). Six of the metro areas with the 10 highest foreclosure rates documented a monthly increase in foreclosure activity, including Modesto, (68 percent), Visalia-Porterville, (58 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. (71 percent).

Twenty-six of the metro areas with the 50 highest foreclosure rates documented a monthly increase in foreclosure activity, including Sarasota, Fla. (53 percent), Las Vegas, Nev. (45 percent), Columbus, Ohio (61 percent) and Columbia, S.C. (58 percent).


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